Contract no. 64/01.10.2015 | PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2388


"Nanopore-based bacterial detection and quantification method through selective binding of antimicrobial peptides to bacterial membranes"


This project is funded under the National Plan for Research, Development and Innovation and is part of the "HUMAN RESOURCES" Program: Research projects to stimulate the establishment of young independent research teams.



"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iaşi

Department For Research And Project Management

Carol I no. 11 Boulevard

700506, Iaşi, Romania

Phone:+40 (232) 201024/ 201023
Fax:+40 (232) 201201


Physics Department

Assistant Professor Aurelia APETREI, Ph.D.

Phone: +40 (232) 201191

e-mail: aurelia.apetrei[at]



Pathogenic diseases continue to represent a significant cause of death in many developing countries around the globe, due to poor control of environmental and food safety. Additionally, repeated abuse and misuse of antimicrobial agents resulted in accelerated emergence of multidrug-resistant microorganisms which now constitute a serious threat to public health and safety. The project proposed herein intends to shape and prove the feasibility of a simple, label-free bacterial detection method, which does not require any enzymatic, nucleic acid, or immunofunctionalization procedures, based solely on the selective interaction between cationic antimicrobial peptides and bacterial membranes. The main objective of this project proposal is built around a two-fold strategy, which is to develop a nanopore-based sensing technique able to assess the binding affinity of selected antimicrobial peptides to specific bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus), and to design, based on this technique, a sensing device for the detection and quantification of bacterial pathogens. The method is based on a biological nanopore sensor able to assess selective binding of antimicrobial peptides to bacterial cells via electrophysiology recordings of current blockages induced upon reversible peptide-nanopore interaction.